Will Openmoko ever see the light of day? Was Re: Concern for usability and ergonomics

Matthew S. Hamrick mhamrick at cryptonomicon.net
Fri Jun 15 00:20:13 CEST 2007

I was the manager of software architecture for Gibson Audio. And  
among other things, was responsible for overseeing the software  
development for the Wurlitzer Digital Jukebox. Despite winning awards  
at CES as an innovative new product, management couldn't find the  
sweet spot in terms of manufacturing cost, market size and retail  
price. The last I heard, the Wurli was put out to pasture last year,  
so we'll never see it on store shelves.

Gibson has taken down the Gibson Audio site, but there are still a  
few reviews from online magazines and the like:




The last link is a picture of the custom remote control we developed  
for the device. If you look at the previous pictures, it might seem  
that there's an integrated LCD on the main unit. But.. that's not the  
case... it's just where the remote docks. For the benefit of list  
members, I'll share a few words of wisdom about product design.

1. For the purposes of building a custom mobile application, WinCE is  
not a completely bad operating system; but the tools really suck.
2. Get your WiFi chip vendors to prove they actually have drivers for  
your operating system and CPU. Better yet, get the source code for  
the drivers!
3. It takes three times as long if you outsource your software  
development to Elbonia.
4. If you outsource your software development, don't outsource your  
QA. In fact, doing "Test First" or "Test Driven Development" is a  
really, really good idea. This way you have an unequivocal tool to  
demonstrate you're getting what you ask for.
5. Consider DECT instead of WiFi. It doesn't have the same bandwidth,  
but power consumption and interference robustness seems to be a  
little better, and...
6. When you test your WiFi enabled device, ensure there's a microwave  
oven near where you're testing. (i.e. - don't forget to test your  
device in something approaching real-world conditions.)

-Matt H.

On Jun 14, 2007, at 1:10 PM, Robin Paulson wrote:

>> > On Wednesday 13 June 2007 16:26, Matthew S. Hamrick wrote:
>> >> Gibson Musical Instruments, where we were designing what was
>> >> effectively a custom PDA (don't ask.)
>> guitar tuner?
> i have to admit, this caught my eye too and set me wondering. i know
> you said don't ask, but....what? i'm intrigued
> _______________________________________________
> OpenMoko community mailing list
> community at lists.openmoko.org
> http://lists.openmoko.org/mailman/listinfo/community

Matthew S. Hamrick * msh at hbmobile.org * http://hbmobile.org/users/msh/
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